In September, we blogged on CrunchGear about Sharp’s entry into the Android tablet sector (the company is currently readying a 5.5-inch and a 10.8-inch version). Strangely dubbed “Galapagos”, the tablets, which will be available in Japan starting next month, will soon be joined by two smartphones carrying the same name. → Read More
After teasing it in May, Japan’s No. 3 mobile carrier SoftBank Mobile (25 million subscribers) now added a Gundam-themed cell phone to its line-up. Gundam is one of the most famous anime series out there, and the new handset is geared towards fans of that series (and cell phone otaku in general). → Read More
News broke yesterday evening that social gaming giant Zynga has raised $150 million from Japanese firm Softbank Capital, bringing the company’s total funding up to a whopping $366 million. We’ve confirmed the funding from sources close to Zynga.
The investment from Asia will likely pave the way for Zynga’s expansion into the Japanese market. Zynga already has interests in the Asian market. The… → Read More
We’ve shown you the summer cell phone lineup from KDDI (Japan’s No. 2 carrier) yesterday. Today, Japan’s third largest carrier, SoftBank Mobile, showed its own summer lineup during a special press conference, and all of their 13 new models have one thing in common: they all come with Twitter pre-installed.
The buyers of these cell phones will be able to access Twitter either via a pre-installed… → Read More
Just four months after a major investment from Japan’s SoftBank, Ustream has officially launched its Asian arm. The live broadcasting site unveiled Ustream Asia this Monday, a joint venture with TV Bank Corporation (a unit of SoftBank). Ustream is also rolling out two new Japanese apps for the iPhone, a viewer and a broadcaster, specifically made for the market. The roots of Ustream Asia will be… → Read More
A lot has been written on how the iPhone performs in Japan, the world’s most advanced mobile nation, but the general consensus in this country now is that it sells very well (even though both Apple and provider SoftBank Mobile refuse to break down Japan-specific sales numbers). It’s rumored that the number of iPhones sold in Japan has passed 3 million.
There are reasons for this success (… → Read More
Streaming video site Ustream has just pulled in a massive new round of funding: $75 million. This second round was led by SoftBank, a Japanese telecom giant. Previously, the site had raised just below $13 million in funding, which came from its Series A in 2008 and its angel round in late 2007.
Japan is heaven on earth for fans of cute gadgets. In the case of mega-popular cartoon cat Hello Kitty, the country offers Kitty-branded notebooks, USB flash drives, a ventilator and even a photo printer. And today, major Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank announced another Hello Kitty gadget, the PhotoVision HW001 KT [JP] (a digital photo frame). → Read More
It seems Japan, the country with the most advanced mobile infrastructure on the globe, has come to embrace the iPhone. According to a survey conducted by market research company GfK‘s Japanese subsidiary [JP], the 32GB model of the iPhone 3GS was the most popular phone in Japan last month. → Read More
Despite being able to choose between an enormous number of super-advanced cell phones for years now, the Japanese have come to embrace the iPhone. The number of iPhones in circulation is estimated to have topped the 1 million mark quite some time ago, which triggered SoftBank BB (a sister company of Japan-exclusive iPhone provider SoftBank Mobile) to start offering something very Japanese and… → Read More
I just came back from the official pre-launch event for the iPhone 3GS in Japan, organized by telecommunications giant SoftBank (the exclusive carrier in Nippon). The iPhone is often said to be rather unpopular in this country (which isn’t true), but even though the event began at 10 in the night, it was totally packed. → Read More
Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank is currently running a summer marketing campaign [JP], using gift certificates, coupons and (almost certainly) the biggest cell phone strap on the planet to attract customers. The strap, a stuffed husky standing 30cm tall, is limited to 30,000 units. → Read More
Big news from Japan’s cell phone market today as Japan’s No.3 telecommunications company SoftBank and the No. 1, NTT Docomo, presented their new cell phone line-ups for the summer. Softbank announced a total of 19 new models [JP] (sales start within this month), and many of them are made by Sharp. → Read More
Japan already has the most advanced cell phone infrastructure in the world and it seems it will get even better and faster in the very near future. The country’s four major cell phone carriers (NTT, KDDI, SoftBank and Emobile) say they intend to invest a total of $10 billion into 3.9-generation cell phone services. → Read More
There are no official statistics available as how well the iPhone sells after Apple started offering it in the Japanese market in July last year. Now Softbank Mobile, one of Asia’s biggest tech companies and the exclusive carrier for the iPhone in Japan, thinks sales need a boost and decided to give away the hardware basically for free [JP]. → Read More
Tokyo-based BBSS, a 100% subsidiary of Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank, has created an app for the iPhone that translates spoken Japanese into either English or Chinese [JP]. → Read More
Brad Pitt is a huge star in Japan and has been getting millions and millions of dollars as a calling card for Softbank, one of Asia’s biggest telecommunications conglomerates, for years now. But his latest TV commercial that is currently airing in Japan (and here only) actually did catch even my attention. In it, Burapi (as he is called over here) takes pictures of naked – OK… → Read More
Softbank Mobile today announced the release of a One-Seg digital TV tuner for the iPhone [JP] for the middle of December. One-Seg is a digital TV system only available in Japan and Brazil and usually stands for great picture and sound quality. The device makes it possible to watch digital TV via WiFi by converting TV signals into IP-based data. Buyers can use the TV tuner (weight: 80 grams)… → Read More
OK, the company behind the TV commercial shown above is not really Apple but SoftBank, one of Asia’s biggest telecommunications companies and the carrier for the iPhone in this country. The SoftBank family seen in the video consists of a father (the white dog), a mother (the woman seen at the end of the clip), a brother (the guy with the glasses who is an American model based in Tokyo) and… → Read More
Hitachi, security solutions provider Gemalto, NTT Data and Japan’s No. 3 mobile phone carrier SoftBank joined forces in the development of the so-called smart poster system [JP], which makes it possible to transmit information to cell phone users from movie posters. The system is currently being tested in Chiba (east of Tokyo) and uses Near Field Communication (NFC) as the underlying… → Read More
Over one billion cell phones have been sold worldwide in the last year, but in the US or Europe, the mobile Internet is still catching on relatively slowly. There even was a heated debate in the blogosphere just recently whether the mobile web has a future at all. However, this has never been a question in one specific region of the world: In Japan, since 2006 more people have been accessing the… → Read More
Just three and a half weeks passed since the iPhone 3G became available in Japan and Softbank, the phone’s carrier in this country, already made major changes to the domestic pricing plan. Although the Japanese data plans were quite reasonable in comparison with other smartphones, Softbank today issued a press release (in English) in which the company announced a quite significant price… → Read More
http://blip.tv/scripts/flash/showplayer.swf?enablejs=true&feedurl=http%3A%2F%2Fcrunchgear%2Eblip%2Etv%2Frss&file=http%3A%2F%2Fblip%2Etv%2Frss%2Fflash%2F1067955%3Freferrer%3Dblip%2Etv%26source%3D1&showplayerpath=http%3A%2F%2Fblip%2Etv%2Fscripts%2Fflash%2Fshowplayer%2Eswf I just came back from the Softbank flagship store in “Tokyo’s Fifth Avenue”, Omotesandou street. → Read More
Today Softbank, the company to introduce the 3G iPhone in Japan on July 11th, announced [JP] the price plan for this country. The 8GB model will cost $213, while the 16GB version will be sold for $325 (to be paid over a period of 2 years). Softbank is known to be the pricebreaker in Japan’s highly competitive mobile telecommunications market. The company said it will not follow a premium… → Read More
Today Softbank, Japan’s No. 3 mobile telecommunications company after DoCoMo and au, said they will be releasing the iPhone in Japan. In light of this big announcement, the press release seems to be rather short: “SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp. today announced it has signed an agreement with Apple® to bring the iPhone™ to Japan later this year.” That’s it. No word on price or… → Read More
Today Japanese telecommunications giant Softbank unveiled their cell phone line-up for sommer 2008. Starting in July, the company will roll out a total of 11 new handsets in Japan. 3 models are mady by Sharp, NEC and Panasonic each while 2 come from Toshiba. Nothing amazing here, but some of the handsets come with a couple of cool features. → Read More